SmallMainHomeBanner

Centre Sluggers League Rules and Regulations

REVISED May 6, 2011

This league was created to provide for men and women 28 years old and over, an alternative to softball and enable us to play the game we all grew up playing. Adult attitudes must always prevail, no matter how competitive any league is. The responsibility that this ethic sustains will remain at the responsibility of the individual league President and his officers and anyone who abuses the league’s code can be suspended or expelled from the league.

Index

1. Uniforms, Helmets, Baseballs and Other Equipment
2. Game Length, Run Rule and Rain-Outs
3. Teams, Players and Line-Ups
4. Player Behavior and Team Responsibility
5. Courtesy Runners
6. Pitchers
7. Ex-Pro Status and Regulations
8. General League Rules
9. Code of Conduct
10. League Governance

Rules

  1. UNIFORMS, HELMETS AND BASEBALLS
    1. All teams must have full baseball uniforms consisting of caps, numbered baseball jerseys, baseball pants, belt, and socks – each player’s uniform must be of similar design to his teammates uniforms. Teams having sponsorship will be allowed the sponsors name on their uniforms via patch or uniform shirt.
      1. No player out of uniform will be allowed to play without the opposing manager’s consent.
      2. All teams should have their uniforms by their first game. A grace period of 30 days will be extended for newly activated players or for new teams to complete their uniforms.
    2. All batters and runners must wear helmets for both at bats and on base. There is no option to this rule. Full double-ear flap helmets are encouraged for at bats and are encouraged for the bases. Catchers are also encouraged to wear a helmet underneath their mask.
    3. All leagues games will be played with official MSBL baseballs provided by the league. The home team supplies all balls for a game.
    4. Wood and wood composite bats are allowed and both will be permitted. A composite wood bat must be made from ALL wood! If a player uses a bat not meeting these specifications, the offending batter will be declared an out.
    5. Metal cleats are permitted.
  2. GAME LENGTH, RUN RULE, RAIN-OUTS, PRE-GAME WARMUPS, POST-GAME RESPONSIBLITIES
    1. Games shall be scheduled for 9 innings, except a double header involving the same two teams shall be two 7-inning games
    2. Games may be ended prior to the scheduled completion in the following circumstances:
      1. A game may be declared complete at the end of the 5th inning or subsequent inning (4th inning or later for a scheduled 7-inning game), if at the umpires’ discretion, the field becomes unplayable or there is insufficient light to continue the game safely. If the score is tied at this point the game shall be suspended.
      2. A game shall be declared complete at the end of the inning in which 3 hours have passed since the start of the game. Games that are tied at the time shall be a tie. (Playoff games will continue until one team is ahead at the end of an inning.) For games that are delayed due to rain or other conditions, the 3-hour rule will not apply to the delay period.
      3. At the end of the 7th inning or end of any subsequent inning when there is a 10 run difference in the scores.
    3. Any games suspended or rained out will not be re-scheduled by the league, but may be made up at any time not conflicting with previously scheduled games. All make-up games must be agreed to by both managers and league notification must take place. Once league notification of a rescheduled game has occurred, the game is subject to forfeiture rules.
    4. In the event of rain, it is the responsibility of the scheduled home team to notify the umpires and opposing team manager of field conditions and possible cancellation of game, at least 2 hours before scheduled game time. The lead umpire may call the game due to unplayable field conditions 5 minutes before game time, even if both teams have not submitted a complete lineup.
    5. Pre-game warm-ups can be conducted on the playing field if it is not occupied by a previous game. Joint batting practice for both teams will end 20 minutes prior to game time. Players should limit their swings to a maximum of 8-10 (depending on time and number of players present) to ensure all players have the opportunity for practice. Infield practice for the home team shall occur during the 10 minutes following the end of batting practice. Infield practice time for the visiting team shall be the final 10 minutes prior to game time. If one of the teams does not use its scheduled warm-up time, it may be used by the other team.
    6. The scheduled home team shall be responsible for preparing the playing field for play, including raking or dragging the infield and placement of foul lines. The visiting team shall be responsible for post-game raking and removal of bases.
  3. TEAMS, PLAYERS AND LINEUPS
    1. A player is eligible to participate in an official league sanctioned game on or after the date of their 28th birthday.
    2. Team roster, team fee and player waiver forms must be submitted by each team to the local league by May 1st. Teams are encouraged to carry 15-16 players on the initial roster, with a minimum of 12. Roster changes after the start of the season should be minimized, but will be permitted.
      1. Players may be added to get to 15 players.
      2. Players lost to injuries for extended periods may be replaced, but the injured player shall be eligible to return once they are able.
      3. Players who quit voluntarily and are removed from the roster may be replaced.

      A team that fails to provide the local league office with team roster, team fee and player waiver forms by May 1st is ineligible for league play.

    3. Players added to the roster after the start of the season may not participate in a game until their signed waiver form has been filed with the league, and the league office notifies all teams by email that the player has been added to the roster.
    4. Prior to the start of the game, opposing managers shall exchange lineups on the enclosed lineup form, or other form providing the same information: hitting lineup position, player name, designated courtesy runner player, and age status (over or under 35), and defensive position.
      Batting position Name & Number Courtesy Runner Check if <35 Defensive position
      1        
      2        
      3        
      4        
      5        
      6        
      7        
      8        
      9        
      10        
      11        
      12        
      13        
      14        
      15        
      Available players not in hitting lineup
               
               
               
               
    5. A team manager may bat as many players as he desires, with a minimum of 10 (subject to the number of players available, if less than 10). Batters cannot be deleted or skipped over, regardless of their batting position or when they were added during the game.
    6. A manager may add batters to the bottom of the lineup at any time but if a batter is pinch hit or run for (except under courtesy runners as outlined in section 5) the player may not re-enter the game as a hitter but may remain in the game as a fielder or pitcher. Each team has a hitting and a defensive lineup that are independent of each other. Players may play in either lineup or both.
    7. If a player is forced to leave a game due to injury or commitment or if a player is ejected from a game, a reserve player, not previously entered into the game as a hitter, must hit in the batters place. If no reserve is present, that spot is skipped and all batters move up accordingly, with no penalty to the affected team as long as there are 9 or more players remaining in the hitting lineup. If the removal of the player results in a hitting lineup with fewer than 9 players, then that spot in the order shall be an automatic out every time it comes up.
    8. A team must have 8 or more players at the field for an official game. If, at any time a team has less than 8 players at the field, the game shall be forfeited.
    9. All players may be substituted for defensively, at any time, without affecting the players offensive status in the line-up. If the pitcher is removed, he may re-enter to pitch only one time during the course of the game, but not in the same inning. The removed pitcher may play any other position after being removed or no position at all.
    10. No player may switch teams during the season (roster submittal date to end of playoffs) without the consent of both managers and the league president. If this does not meet with approval, the player must remain with his original team or sit out the remainder of the season. In the event a team disbands during the season or at season’s conclusion, all players will become automatic free agents and will be permitted to play for any desired team that adds them to the roster. Between seasons, if a player is not invited back by his manager, he must be given his release so that he may go to the team of his choosing.
    11. In the event a player wishes to leave his existing team and form a new team, he may do so. If players are signed from an existing team, the player’s original manager must be notified.
    12. Last names must be used in the scorebook to allow for player identification for follow up inquiries that relate to playoff and national tournament participation requiring minimum playing requirements.
    13. If a team cannot field at least 8 players for a scheduled game, the manager must notify the opposing manager at least 48 hours prior to the start of the game. If the opposing manager agrees to reschedule (there is no obligation to do so), the team asking to reschedule will have 0.5 game penalty added to their games played for purposes of determining league standings, which are based on winning percentage (wins / {wins + losses + penalties for reschedule}).
  4. PLAYER BEHAVIOR AND TEAM RESPONSIBILITY
    1. There will be no beer or alcoholic beverages permitted at the field before, during or after the game. The field refers to the general playing area and ancillary areas.
    2. The league has the right to suspend or expel any team member who abuses league rules or who does not exhibit a sense of sportsmanship or who plays without regard to the safety of the umpires or other players.
    3. An umpire has sole discretion to expel any player or manager from the game.
    4. Fighting among players or aggressive physical contact with an umpire will not be tolerated and players expelled from the game for either violation will be subject to suspension or expulsion from the league.
    5. Players shall not intentionally collide with any other players. In the case of a runner intentionally colliding with a fielder, the runner will be called out and may, at the umpire’s discretion, be expelled from the game. All base runners must either slide or give up their right to a base (avoid a collision by stopping or leaving a base path) if the defensive player (e.g. catcher) has possession of the ball, is in the act of receiving the ball, or is about to immediately receive the ball and will be able to make an apparent play on the base runner.

      If a defensive player is not in possession of the ball, is not in the act of receiving the ball, or is not about to immediately receive the ball so that he is able to record an out (apparent play. at any base), he cannot block the base (e.g. home plate) or be in the base path so as to impede (obstruct) the base runner’s right to that base or feign a tag in order to induce the runner to slide unnecessarily. Under such circumstances, the defensive player shall be responsible to avoid collision. If a collision does occur under these circumstances, the runner will always be considered safe and the obstruction rule shall be enforced. The defensive player may be ejected from the game (if the action is intentional, he must be ejected), and will be suspended from league play if the obstruction is judged to be flagrant. In the event of a feigned tag, all base runners shall be permitted to advance one base past the base they attained at the conclusion of the play.

    6. Failure to abide by age regulations – the managers must all recognize their responsibility to the league and the perpetuity of it as to not cross the line where winning is more important than playing. An opposing manager may, by the end of the day after game completion, lodge a protest to request proof of a player’s age. If a manager lodges a protest, proof of age for the player in question must be provided to the league before the team with the protested player plays another league game. If questions about player ages arise outside of the time frame allowed for a formal protest, proof of age must still be submitted to the league. If an under-age player is detected, penalties to the individual, manager, and team will be decided by the league president and board of directors. Penalties may include forfeiture of games, and/or suspension of individuals from the league.
  5. COURTESY RUNNERS
    1. Players that register with the league board at the beginning of the season as needing a courtesy runner at all times will be allowed a courtesy runner. No other player may use one.
    2. The player to make the last batted out who is not a player already designated as a courtesy runner, must be the courtesy runner.
    3. If a batter needing a courtesy runner opts to run, or forgets to get a courtesy runner and subsequently runs, he will lose his courtesy runner for the remaining portion of the game.
    4. Use of a pinch runner in place of an injured player is permissible. The injured player must be removed from the batting lineup for the rest of the game.
    5. All other forms of courtesy runners (pitcher or catcher with 2 outs, injured player bat but not run, etc.) may be negotiated by the managers prior to the beginning of a game. Once an agreement is reached, they MUST notify the umpires for that game.
  6. PITCHERS
    1. No player while pitching may wear white or gray sleeves, nor may a pitcher wear a batting glove or wristband while pitching.
    2. One intentional walk per team per game will be allowed.
    3. If a pitcher hits 4 batters in any one game, the pitcher must be removed on the fourth hit batsman.
    4. There is no regulation as to how many innings a pitcher may pitch in a game or a week, except for pitchers who have not yet reached their 35th birthday. Under 35 pitching may be utilized by a team for a maximum of 3 innings. At the time lineups are exchanged prior to the game, managers shall designate any players who have not yet reached their 35th birthday.
  7. EX-PRO STATUS AND REGULATIONS
    1. A player must be out of pro-ball for 3 complete MSBL seasons before becoming eligible to participate in a MSBL league. Pro-ball refers to major and minor leagues.
    2. A player is not an ex-pro if the player is over 28 years old and he has been out of pro-ball for at least 3 complete seasons.
  8. GENERAL LEAGUE RULES
    1. Any game situations that are not covered by these rules shall be governed by standard baseball rules as found in www.baseball-almanac.com.
    2. Two forfeits by any team could mean immediate expulsion from the league with no money refunded to the team.
    3. All protests of alleged misapplication of the rules must be announced before the next pitch is made and must filed with the league protest committee/board within 48 hours after the game for which the protest is made. All protests shall be decided by the league competition committee. No replay of the game will be ordered unless in the opinion of the committee the violation adversely affected the protesting team’s chances of winning the game.
    4. In order for a player to qualify and participate in league playoffs, tournaments and post-season events, he must have paid any fees due to the team or league, have been on the roster for at least 50% of his team’s regular season games played, and have played in at least 50% of the games played. If a player fails to meet the requirements due to injury or other circumstances, a letter requesting an exception may be submitted to the league president explaining the non-compliance. Permission to play in the playoffs may be granted by the league competition committee. (The intent of this rule is to prevent teams from “loading up” for the playoffs, not to prevent players who have been on the roster all or most of the year from playing. The decisions on exception requests should reflect this intent.)
    5. Final regular season league standings, and seeds for the championship playoffs will be determined by won/lost percentage. Ties will be decided by head-to-head competition first, total score in head-to-head competition second, and season mean run differential (average runs per game – average runs allowed per game) third.
    6. The post-season championship tournament shall consist of a single-elimination tournament involving the top 8 eligible seeds. In order for a team to be eligible, all league fees must be up to date. If 9 teams are elligible, the #8 seed will be determined by a single game between the 8th and 9th ranked teams in the league. For all games the higher seeded team shall be the “home” team. The pairings for the tournament shall be:
          Quarterfinals
      • Game 1: 1 vs 8
      • Game 2: 2 vs 7
      • Game 3: 3 vs 6
      • Game 4: 4 vs 5
          Semifinals
      • Game 5: Game 1 winner vs Game 4 winner
      • Game 6: Game 2 winner vs Game 3 winner
          Championship Finals
      • Game 7: Game 5 winner vs Game 6 winner

      If 8 eligible teams are not available for the tournament, then the highest seeded team(s) may receive a bye in the first round. At the start of the season, the league may decide that the championship finals will be a best of three series. The post-season tournament may be modified as necessary depending upon circumstances.

    7. Once the season starts, changes to these rules must be unanimous among the Board of Directors.
  9. CODE OF CONDUCT
          Prohibitions
      1. Managers and players shall conduct themselves in a sportsmanlike manner at all times. No manager or player shall commit the following:
        1. Lay a hand upon, shove or strike, or threaten an official. Players and managers guilty or such conduct shall be immediately suspended from further participation in the game and shall remain suspended until his conduct is reviewed by the board of directors. Players and managers guilty of such conduct shall be subject to suspension for the remainder of the season or expulsion from the league for life.
        2. Refuse to abide by an official’s decision. Players guilty of such conduct shall be immediately suspended from further participation in the game and shall remain suspended until his conduct is reviewed by the board of directors. Players guilty of such conduct shall be subject to probation or suspension for the remainder of the season.
        3. Be guilty of objectionable demonstrations of dissent at an official’s decision. Players and managers guilty of such conduct shall be subject to suspension from further participation in the game.
        4. Discuss with an official or officials the decision reached by such official or officials, except for the manager or his designee who are authorized to participate in such discussions. Players guilty of such conduct shall be subject to suspension from further participation in the game.
        5. Use unnecessarily rough tactics in the play of the game against the body or person of an opposing player. Players guilty of such conduct shall be immediately suspended from further participation in the game and shall be subject to probation or suspension for the remainder of the season.
        6. Be guilty of physical attack as an aggressor upon any player, manager, official, or spectator, before, during, or after a game. Players guilty of such conduct shall be immediately suspended from further participation in the game and shall remain suspended until their conduct is reviewed by the board of directors. Players guilty of such conduct shall be subject to suspension for the remainder of the season or expulsion from the league for life.
        7. Be guilty of verbal abusive attack upon any player, manager, official, or spectator, before, during, or after a game. Players guilty of such conduct shall be immediately suspended from further participation in the game and shall remain suspended until their conduct is reviewed by the board of directors. Players guilty of such conduct shall be subject to suspension for the remainder of the season.
        8. Consume alcoholic beverages or illegal drugs during the game or be upon the field of play at any time in an intoxicated condition. Players guilty of such conduct shall be immediately suspended from further participation in the game and shall be subject to probation or suspension for the remainder of the season.
        9. Smoke on the field of play or in the dugout. Players guilty of such conduct shall be immediately suspended from further participation in the game.

    Penalties

      1. The board of directors may, by vote of the majority of the directors, suspend any player or manager for such a period and upon such terms as it may propose, for the conduct with in its opinion is prejudicial to the welfare, interest, reputation, or charter of the league.
      2. Except as otherwise provided, the commissioners shall determine the appropriate action required for violations of the codes of conduct, and shall report their decision to the player, manager and the board of directors.
      3. A player found in violation of any provision delineated in the codes of conduct, after being placed on probation for the remainder of the season shall be suspended for the remainder of the season.
      4. Any player found in violation of any provisions delineated in the codes of conduct, after being suspended from further participation in a game shall be suspended for the remainder of the season.

    Grievances, protests, and appeals

    1. Grievances may be filed by an individual player or by the manager of a team provided that a grievance is formally submitted to the commissioner or appropriate board. The commissioner shall adjudicate all such grievances and shall report any action taken to the board of directors.
    2. An appeal of any action or ruling may be filed with the board of directors by an individual player or by the manager of a team provided that the appeal is formally submitted. However, all decisions by the board of directors are final and not subject to appeal.
  10. LEAGUE GOVERNANCE
    1. The league shall be governed according the these by-laws by the following persons and committees:
      • League commissioner – Oversee day-to-day operation of the league
      • Board of directors – Composed of 1 designated member from each team. Assist commissioner in league organization and operation.
      • Competition committee – Composed of 1 designated member of each team. Shall review league rules, decide protests, rule on play-off eligibility appeals. When deciding on protested games, and ruling on play-off eligibility appeals, the representatives from the teams involved shall not vote.

 

Baseball is a spirited race of man against man, reflex against reflex. A game of inches. Every skill is measured. Every heroic, every failing is seen and cheered, or booed. And then becomes a statistic.

 

Ernie Harwell

Baseball is a red-blooded sport for red-blooded men. It’s no pink tea, and mollycoddles had better stay out. It’s a struggle for supremacy, a survival of the fittest.

Ty Cobb

Almost all of us growing up have played baseball on some level. It has an inside track with people. It has a unifying effect.

Vin Scully